SoundSight Training: allow blind people to see with sound
SoundSight Training: allow blind people to see with sound
Blind people could do jogging with you, if they only could echolocate themselves. SoundSight Training will make them see with sound.
Blind people could do jogging with you, if they only could echolocate themselves. SoundSight Training will make them see with sound. Read more
About this project
All of us could echolocate themselves inside the space, using their tongue click, and listening to the echo of that click, that contains information about the environment, about obstacles and their distance and their general form factor.
There are roughly 285 million visually impaired people in the world, 39 million are totally blind. Let this number sink: it means 1 in 20 people does not experience the world as you do. Together we can improve their quality of life, and offer them the opportunity of fulfil their potential. SoundSight Training is the name of our ICT educational programme that takes up this challenge: helping blind people navigating and orienteering themselves in a living/moving world as naturally as you, without relying on vision. Or rather, training a form of vision that does not rely on eyes, but on sound. The users could go inside the simulated environment and challenge themselves inside different scenarios.
SoundSight Training will allow our students to learn how detect echoes, at their own pace inside a comfort zone, like their own house; when they will fell ready they could go outside and challenge their echolocation skills. But this is an extension to real life, not a replacement.
All of us could learn how to echolocate our self inside buildings or streets and other spaces. To do this, you don’t need to be a superhero. You simply just need to train your brain. Echolocation work by clicking your tongue and listening to the echo bounce off objects in the vicinity such as a wall. When the echolocation skill is combined with SoundSight Training, individuals will be able to hone in their skill to navigate around by using precision echolocation.
SoundSight is a 3D learning platform simulating a video game environment with multiple levels and progressive goals. The users can comfortably learn the approach on their own pace. When comfortable, users are encouraged practice their learnings in a trusted environment.
SoundSight Training is an educational tool for visual impaired and blind people. The virtual reality guides our users inside different scenarios and different environment. Learning process is structured like a video game: different levels, a limited number of tries, heterogeneous goals and easy explanation of the objective. Every users will have their own score and they could improve it with acquiring objectives and winning the challenges.
The users should only click their toungue into the microphone and listen to the echo of that click thorugh headphones. The virtual reality process the input in real time and allow the user to listen to the echo of the bouncing toungue click. The interface will giude the users through the different scenarios and the different challenges. The virtual reality will be first of all an acoustic virtual reality, but there will be also a visual feedback for all visual impaired users and for all the users that what to play with SoundSight Training with a friend or with a parent. The users could go inside the simulated environment of SoundSight Training and challenge themselves inside different scenarios. It will allow our students to learn how detect echoes, at their own pace inside a comfort zone, like their own house; when they will fell ready they could go outside and challenge their echolocation skills.
These are some of the simulated environment of our prototype:
The user perceive different bouncing echoes, depending on the scenario,the environment, the objects around him and his position.
Check out this video and listen to the echoes!
The training method is experience based, so the users will be guided through monitored experiences that allow them understand the differences between different environment, different scenarios and different objects, and they will understand how sound bounce off them creating a huge amount of different echoes.
At first the exercises of our SoundSight Training will be static, basically our users should start understand how manage and perceive sound, and how sound change with different environment and with the presence of obstacles nearby. After macroscopic exercises the users should detect where a predefined obstacle is, on the right or on the left, for example.
The next step is the interaction with obstacles, the new challenge for the users will be detect the environment and avoid obstacles in a preconditioned time lapse.
All SoundSight users will experience their mistake, without negative consequences, in a comfort zone. It’s a method of solving problems. It is characterised by repeated, varied attempts which are continued until success,or until the agent stops trying.
This approach is far more successful with simple problems and in games, and is often resorted to when no apparent rule applies. This does not mean that the approach need be careless, for an individual can be methodical in manipulating the variables in an attempt to sort through possibilities that may result in success.
Aristotle wrote in the Nichomachean Ethics "for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them".
Thanks to Luca anche Matteo, two of our volunteer we understood that they could learn how to detect a panel, and understand which kind of material it is made with.
This test demonstrated us that they improve their echolocation skills!
Industrial and Management Engineer, Council Member for Environment and Youth Policy in Rio Saliceto, RE (Italy) I have come in contact with the community of visually impaired people while participating to the 2014-2015, technology for the visually impaired, Challenge Based Innovationco-hosted by IdeasQuare (CERN) and the University of Modena. A true meeting never leaves you unchanged, and the more I have been in touch with mothers of blind children, or with those whom I can now call my friends from the group that was coldly classified as stakeholders, the more I understood I would (and could) do something to support and empower them. I want this project to see the light, just as I want to empower my friends with immediate sight of the living world around them.
Chairman and Co-Founder of Scimpulse Foundation, Senior Research Fellow at CERN. Studying Medicine, and more than that clinical practice, have made me realise how complex being human is, and how many (sometime small, sometime big) things concur to defining what we so easily pronounce as health and wellbeing. This realization since drives my studies, my research, and my practice. I have founded SCImPULSE Foundation to offer a venue to like minded researchers to convene and collaborate, inspired by some amazing examples of coopetition that humankind has offered in the past decades, and I am now starting this adventure with Irene and Henrik following the same leit-motiv. Humanity has never been in better shape before in history, and yet behind statistics hide huge inequalities. I want to change this world even a bit, to raise the chances to fulfillment and prosperity for those that are still living in the worst of the realities we could offer.
Fellow at Scimpulse Foundation, Associate to Department of Development and Innovation at CERN; I am a research-oriented engineer with a passion for complex signals analysis and theory of information. I met Irene on the occasion of a seminar I gave at CERN about my R&D on super-resolution acoustic holography for the “let me see” project with SCImPULSE Foundation, and I have been immediately captured by the idea of a direct solution to offer visually impaired people a chance at learning a new navigational skill, not casually based on acoustics. I immediately started prototyping and in a few months we had a demonstrator and have been able to start interacting with a few volunteer testers. What a refreshing feeling to witness people discover new opportunities! Now the “let me see” project is part of the future of SoundSight, and we are eagerly working to bring our first product to the fruition as soon as possible.
Tuitti noi potremmo imparare ad ecolocalizzarci nello spazio, grazie allo schiocco della lingua e ascoltando l'eco di quello stesso echo, che contiene informazioni in merito all'ambiente, gli ostacoli, la loro forma e distanza.
Per riuscire a fare questo non bisogna essere dei supereroi, ma solo avere la pazienza e la volotà di allenarsi.
Ci sono all'incirca 285 milioni di persone ipovedenti nel mondo, di cui 39 sono completamente cieche.
Insieme possiamo offrire loro la possibilità di sfruttare al massimo le loro capacità.SoundSight Training è il nome del nostro strumento educativo ICT, ed è stato fatto per aiutare le persone non vedenti a navigare con più sicurezza e indipendenza nello spazio.
Infatti li allenerà passo passo a percepire e individuare gli echi e a comprenderne il comportamento.
Tutto questo potrà essere fatto nella comodità delle proprie case, visto che questo software potrà essere scaricato su qualsiasi computer.
Infatti si tratta di una estensione della realtà, non una sostituzione.
Ogni studente quando si sentirà pronto, spegnerà il computer e euscirà forte delle sua capacità di ecolocalizzazione.
Gli utenti dovranno utilizzare cuffie e microfono per interagire con la realtà virtuale.
L'input, (il più consigliato è lo schiocco della lingua) verrà dato attraverso il microfono, e attraverso le cuffie si ascolterà come il suono reagisce e rimbalza all'interno dell'ambiente simulato, naturalmente in real time.
L'interfaccia guidrà gli utenti attraverso diversi livelli e diverse sfide assistendoli con spiegazioni vocali.
Risks and challenges
When the project will be funded, the biggest challenge that we will face, will be spread out SoundSight Training, and allow every blind people to achieve it.
But SoundSight Training will be an opensource software and everybody could have it.
We created this crowdfunding campaign to start supplying SoundSight Training and involve people on blind people difficulties and needs.
We are really confident that we could improve our prototype and create SoundSight Training in an year.
The biggest challenge will be create an user friendly interface, but there are some volunteers that always tests our work, so for us is easier create an human centred design with their feedbacks.
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